The situation at the front
Analysts at the Institute for the Study of War (ISW) reported that the expected large offensive by Russian troops on the border of the Luhansk and Kharkiv regions of Ukraine has begun. This is stated in the daily report of the Washington Institute, based on open sources. According to ISW experts, Russian troops are advancing along the entire Svatovo - Kremennaya section, especially to the north-west of Svatovo - near Kupyansk and west of Kremennaya (under the control of the Russian army).
According to ISW, units of several regiments of the 144th and 3rd motorized rifle divisions are participating in the offensive, with the support of units of the 76th airborne division and units of the Southern Military District.
Military expert Roman Svitan, a retired colonel of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, explained in a conversation with The Insider that the Russian military is indeed tasked with carrying out certain offensive actions, but the maximum pressure will be in the third decade of February.
“Russian troops are trying to liberate the left bank of the Oskol River and the Oskol reservoir up to the Liman from Ukrainian forces. And immediately the movement began to the same Liman, only from Kreminnaya - from east to west.
The troops of the Russian Federation are now stuck in their own minefields, a month or two ago they mined everything they could there, but now the mines are frozen, it is impossible to pull them out, and therefore it is difficult for large units that are actually there to enter there. We see an increase in pressure, and this is the offensive that everyone has always been talking about, but I would not say that this is a large-scale something. It will increase, but the maximum pressure should be expected in the third decade of February. These are understandable and calculated actions of the Russian troops.”
Bloomberg, the Financial Times, the head of the self-proclaimed "DPR" Denis Pushilin and Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky previously reported on the upcoming offensive of Russian troops.
Russian troops, according to WarGonzo, resumed assault operations on the outskirts of Ugledar . The Ukrainian army meets them with heavy fire.
In the Donetsk direction, the Russian army again attacked the Ukrainian garrison in the western part of Maryinka. She also resumed ground offensive operations against the fortified area of the Armed Forces of Ukraine in Krasnohorivka. Another attempt to break through in the Pervomaisky area did not bring much success. And near Vodyanoye and Experienced, Russian troops managed to advance. Also, with the support of artillery, they attacked the fortified area of the Armed Forces of Ukraine in Avdiivka from Yasinovataya. The Ukrainian army carried out rocket attacks on Donetsk and Gorlovka.
In the Zaporozhye direction , active hostilities continue. As a resident of Vasilievka told The Insider, fighting has been going on for the past two days using all means, including artillery and aircraft. According to him, the occupying authorities continue to build fortifications around Vasilievka, dig trenches, construct dugouts, and put up concrete blocks at checkpoints.
On February 8, the British Ministry of Defense in its daily review of the situation in Ukraine reported that the command of the Russian army was probably concerned about the possibility of a major offensive by the Armed Forces of Ukraine in one of two directions: in the north of the Luhansk region or in Zaporozhye. In recent weeks, the report says, the Russians have been strengthening defenses in the Zaporozhye region, especially between the cities of Vasilyevka and Orekhov. On this sector of the front, Russia still maintains a large grouping.
As the British department notes, a major breakthrough of the Armed Forces of Ukraine in Zaporozhye will jeopardize the functioning of the Russian "land bridge" connecting the Rostov region and Crimea. In turn, the successful offensive of the Ukrainian military in the Lugansk region will prevent the “liberation” of Donbass, which the Russian authorities have declared their goal in this war.
On February 9, Russian troops hit the city of Marganets in the Dnipropetrovsk region from heavy artillery. In the message of the head of the Dnepropetrovsk OVA, Serhiy Lysak, it is said that three people, including a child, were injured as a result of the blow.
“A 12-year-old girl and two women, aged 52 and 60, suffered from enemy fire. At the moment they have been delivered to medical institutions. They are getting the help they need,” he wrote.
Later, the head of the Dnepropetrovsk Regional Council, Nikolai Lukashuk , reported four wounded.
“As for the destruction: the building of one of the enterprises, the building of the water supply and sewerage facilities, a sports school, a shop, a cafe, and a post office were mutilated in the city. Also, 18 residential buildings, a dozen outbuildings, 4 cars, gas pipelines, power lines, water supply and several solar panels were broken, ”added the head of the regional council.
Ukraine will receive the first Leopard tanks from Portugal in March. This was stated by Prime Minister of Portugal António Costa, writes Reuters. Now combat vehicles are being removed from storage and undergoing maintenance.
Earlier, the commander of the armed forces of Portugal, António Silva Ribeiro, reported that Portugal has 37 Leopard 2 tanks. But, according to local media, most of them are still inoperative.
Germany will be able to deliver the first battalion of Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine at the end of March, German Defense Minister Boris Pistorius called such terms, CNN reports . Earlier, Berlin called on its allies to name the exact timing of the transfer of Leopard to Ukraine, fearing the refusal of European countries from the promises already made.
Russia has prepared thousands of pieces of equipment for a new offensive. Foregin Police writes about it. “In the next 10 days, we expect a new large-scale invasion,” a Ukrainian military official said in an interview on condition of anonymity. Russia also began to arm and prepare for the offensive. The Ukrainian military estimates that Russia already has 1,800 tanks, 3,950 armored vehicles, 2,700 artillery systems, 810 Soviet multiple launch rocket systems such as Grad and Smerch, 400 fighter jets, and 300 helicopters.
More than 20 Russian generals have died since the start of the war in Ukraine, the Nikkei newspaper writes , citing Japanese intelligence data. These calculations are based on information collected by the Japanese in cooperation with the US and the EU.
According to the version given by Nikkei, the Ukrainian army carried out successful strikes on Russian generals, calculating their location from mobile phone signals. The mass death of generals is explained by the practice of sending them to the front line and the work of Ukrainian informants from the occupied Luhansk and Donetsk regions.
According to Mediazona and the BBC, only 4 Russian generals were killed, but publications use information only from open sources.
Recruitment of prisoners
The founder of PMC Wagner, Yevgeny Prigozhin, said that the recruitment of prisoners for the war had been stopped. This was reported by the press service of the Concord company controlled by him.
“The recruitment of prisoners in PMC Wagner has been completely stopped. To those who work for us now, all obligations are being fulfilled,” Prigozhin said.
Olga Romanova, the head of the Russia Sedentary Foundation, writes that now the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation is engaged in recruiting. According to her, in the colonies, a survey of prisoners is carried out, which is carried out by employees of the Federal Penitentiary Service.
“They ask whether he served or did not serve, skills and all that. Everyone is surveyed. Then several dozen profiles of especially gifted people are selected and questioned in more detail. Then they gather everyone (except for the disabled barracks) in the club, an uncle from the Moscow Region comes and talks about the conditions. As with Wagner, after six months of participation in hostilities promises pardon and freedom, ”writes Romanova.
She notes that, as with the recruitment of Wagner PMCs, prisoners are promised large sums of money every month. At the same time, the emphasis is on the fact that the Ministry of Defense is an army, therefore, extrajudicial executions should not be feared.
Read also The Insider's report of February 8: “ Battles in Bakhmut, the death of the nationalist Mangushev, detachments of unprepared attack aircraft. What's happening on the front lines ."